IFA Pigs Committee Chairman Pat O’Flaherty has said that as EU pig prices begin to creep back up, Irish pig factories are desperately trying to hold back the price of pigs, which is completely unacceptable.
“It is apparent that some factories are pushing back kill dates for their regular suppliers, while purchasing pigs from the spot market dealers for a few cent more. Farmers see this as a blatant attempt to hold back the price increase that should have come this week in light of rising prices in Germany and Denmark,” O’Flaherty said.
“Pig farmers produce consistently every week and therefore they need a market for their pigs every week. They generally do not move from one factory to another and this loyalty is being abused when the factory takes in pigs through dealers over their regular supply. The factories have an unfair stranglehold over farmers whose options to move are limited by the fact that there is little, if any, competition in the market”.
“Furthermore, some farmers have said that there is difficulty getting their pigs killed, leading farmers to query the logic of investment and expansion at farm level if there is no extra slaughter capacity on the Island. The Food Harvest 2020 strategy encouraged producers to increase efficiency and sow numbers in its drive to greater export volumes. Farm efficiency has moved on considerably and the country has benefited from this through increased value and volume exports, but farmers are not benefitting. Minister Coveney needs to really consider the primary producer in the Agri strategy review as there is no reason for farmers to continually invest in a business to produce more if there is no market or if this market is being manipulated artificially by the existing processors.”
“We called on the processors to meet farmers in a public forum a number of weeks ago, but this has not happened and farmer frustration is at a peak. Factories must pay the rising price available in other countries. Germany has increased 7c/kg in two weeks and this seven cent to an Irish farmer could be the difference between staying in business of going bankrupt,” Mr. O’Flaherty concluded